No Regrets From Big Guy

April 22, 2010

in Seat Stories

I am a large man. I am 6’2″ tall and weigh approximately 380lbs (however, if I weighed about 280 lbs, I would look fairly normal, to illustrate my size).

Anyway, I am sitting on the window aisle and we are probably about 20 minutes into a 90 minute flight. I am sitting at a window seat. The woman on the seat in front of the person next to me starts to recline. I tap her shoulder and say to her, “please don’t recline ma’am.” She quickly moves her seat up.

Well, about 3 minutes later, her husband who is directly in front of me, about 5’9″ tall and about 160lbs, proceeds to start a full recline. So, I politely push him forward. He looks back, and does it again. So, this time, I say “please don’t recline, it is right on my knees!” Mind you this in only a 90 minute flight. He says to me, “I paid for this flight and if I want to recline I will!” He tries. I pushed very hard this time (mind you, I could have seriously injured this guy just by sneezing on him). He says, “fine, I will call the flight attendant.” He attempts to buzz her several time, but she is too busy helping out the folks in first class. Then, he walks and gets her. She comes back and explains to me that it is his right to recline. So I explain to her, “he is reclining right on my knees.” She, in a very helpful attitude, asks if I would like to go to the back of the plane. He overhears this and says, “I’ll go to the back.”

He and his wife leave to the back and his wife says “Hmmm” on the way back and he says, “you know, if you would have just asked, I would have moved forward.” Mind you, I did this first with his wife and then with him, he is way off by saying this.

The thing that frustrates me is that this guy is probably telling all of his friends about this big rude guy who pushed on his seat, when first it is a 90 minute flight and he who reclines in an airline seat without checking the person behind him! This guy is the reality of our society nowadays… I have no regrets about how I acted.

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Anon April 22, 2010 at 6:15 pm

You're a troll and an idiot.


Clare April 22, 2010 at 7:42 pm

He does have a right to recline his seat, just as you do. You know that you're a large man, so why didn't you book a seat where you wouldn't have had a problem?


TK April 23, 2010 at 2:18 am

Wow, you're a real jerk. I agree with Clare, you know you're a big guy, so you should know the routine by now and book a seat with more room – bulkhead, first class, etc….. the person in front of you has every right to recline. He paid for his ticket too.

Sounds to me like you're a useless waste of skin.


OMG! April 23, 2010 at 2:52 am

Recline, not recline.. How about common courtesy? If people were more respectful of each other, we would not need this site!!


memee April 23, 2010 at 7:18 am

You wrote you just pushed politely, so you did not ask him. I personally don't recline and I am only 5 ft tall, but you were rude and not because of your size, just attitude.


Jim April 23, 2010 at 9:55 am

Reclining seems to be a constant issue on planes. I really do not understand why the airlines even make the seats to recline in the first place.

I'm 6' tall, 180 lbs., I believe that to be a fairly common size.

And, in most planes, the leg room for me is barely enough to squeeze into, with my legs slightly tilted to the side. When the person in front of me chooses to recline his/her seat, it gives me even less room for my legs, and I am forced to sit at even more of a tilt. This is rather uncomfortable for several hours.

My point being…the three inches of incline given to the person reclining, cannot really make that much difference to their comfortability on the plane. But, to the person of normal size behind them, that three inches can make a great deal of difference.

I really think that most that choose to recline…simply do it because they can…because it is their right….to exert themselves in some small way in life. It really can't make that much difference to their comfort level…and, they do so knowing, it takes up space of the person behind them.

In your story the little guy in front of you probably has a Napoleon complex and some rather personal issues he needs to deal with….so, exerted himself by reclining his seat and tattling on you to the flight attendant.

But, you didn't ask him nicely to not recline…so, you too share some culpability in the situation.

Personally, I think it is rude to recline one's seat on the plane. Just because you can…is not really justification, when you know it will make the person behind you more uncomfortable. But, I would never say anything to the person…because it is their right, however rude it may be. Likewise, being polite…I never recline my seat.

I guess, as you state, the reality of our society nowadays, is that people like the person in front of you is inconsiderate…..and, you are no more civil by acting in the manner you did.


Rachel July 13, 2013 at 1:30 pm

It is definitely polite to ask first, as a courtesy. I don't mind a couple inches…what drives me insane are when people wait for the seatbelt light to go off, and then immediately plunk themselves right down into the face of who ever is behind them.

And reclining during meals is just plain rude.


rerere April 23, 2010 at 10:04 am

I agree with jim, why the hell do airlines make seats that recline?


bobbert June 22, 2010 at 10:09 am

because it a hell of alot more comfortable. the 3 inches canactualy make alot of of difference to comfort


Jim June 22, 2010 at 10:14 am

For most people of normal height, we would rather have the three inches of leg room, than the 3 inches of recline.


Karl April 23, 2010 at 10:18 am

You can be lucky I was not in front of you. I paid for my seat and will use same to be somehow comfortable and it does not matter, for 90 min. or 9 hours. If you would try to push my setback I certainly would tell you off and if you did it a second time, well I guess the pilot has to land at the nearest airport. I am 6 ft 176 lbs. and kept same weight my entire life. You are 6'2" 380 lbs? You know you don't fit in an economy (3rd class) seat! Can't afford business or 1st class than take Amtrak or stop eating all those pork chops and get yourself a treadmill, fat slob.


Eric June 7, 2010 at 3:49 pm

I think that the comment Karl made was uncalled for. Him being 6' 2" was the main problem, not that he was 380 Ibs. You also don't have the right to just throw insults that you might not know are true.


Karey April 23, 2010 at 11:11 am

Ok seriously, that was a jerk move. If you pushed my seat forward I would push twice as hard to get it back. You really need to take a lesson on "how to get what you want without pissing people off in the process". If you asked me prior to takeoff in those 15 minutes closing up the doors that you were squeezed in and your knees would be injured if I reclined, of course I would oblige and understand.

But when you expect people to accomadate your girth…Not cool. Makes me wonder if you reclined your seat? I BET you did…


Karey April 23, 2010 at 11:16 am

Wait I just reread this, so you are saying that you would not allow 2 seats ahead of you to recline? The middle seat ahead of and the window? I'm guessing the person next to you in the middle seat has a "flights from hell" story to tell too….


Love It! April 23, 2010 at 4:56 pm

I do not get the big deal with seat reclining. I do it, I expect the person in front of me to do it. I typically take 4-6 hour flights, so I find it much more comfortable to recline those couple inches.

In relation to this story I find you incredibly rude, sir. Not only did you ask a person not in front of you to not recline, but you also pushed the seat forward in front of you instead of asking the man not to recline. What happened was on you.


MM April 25, 2010 at 12:14 am

So…you 'politely' pushed the person's seat forward? How'd you manage that?

I'm 6'2" 200 lbs. I don't think I'd look normal at 280. Oh, America.

I personally think reclining is rude. Moving my seat back reclaims no space for my knees, which are almost always bruised after a flight when someone in front of me reclines. I usually ask politely (I don't shove politely) on short flights; on long-hauls I suck it up.


NayNay April 25, 2010 at 5:56 am

I dare you to sit behind me and push my seat forward when I recline it. I don't care how big your fat ass is; push my seat forward and see what happens. I don't recline my seat simply because I can. Believe it or not, those few inches actually do make me more comfortable.


ps April 25, 2010 at 12:13 pm

I always thought livestock went in cargo. No regrets? What about the other passengers wedged in your row. I'm sure they had regrets. Keep eating your twinkies.


Plargo April 26, 2010 at 3:11 am

I'm 6' and 200. Flew NH1 last month and I swear I do not know if those seats were designed for Japanese fliers only, but I cramped up so bad becasue my knees were in the back of the seat the entire time. (Read bulkhead seat backing up to the restroom) I was flying steerage on a Tripple-7.

The guy in front of me tried to recline and my knees held the seat up. CA came over looked at the seat when he complained, tried to recline, I howled in pain, and she look told the guy in front to take a seat across the way becasue the seat physically couldn't move. I wasn't being a jerk, the leg room was just that tight. I physically had nowhere to move them but the aisle where the CA told me I couldn't put them.


luther April 26, 2010 at 3:54 am

I love how these reported situation always bring out the standard arguements…"I have the right to" being the most commonly used piece of BS people bandy about as the rationale behind their obnoxious behavior. Just remember, what you perceive as your right to do something only extends up to the point that it intersects someone elses life or well being. You have the right to open your car door, but not slam it into a person walking past it.

In this circumstance, everyone was wrong to some degree. Pushing the seat forward without saying something first was rude, and probably not the best way to open negotiations with your neighbor.


Jason April 27, 2010 at 7:30 am

What I'm most confused about is, why did you have to ask the person in front of you TO THE LEFT to not recline?


bobbert June 22, 2010 at 10:19 am

i was wondering that too? what's that got to do ith him?


Su N April 28, 2010 at 11:29 am

I have been reading the comments on this site and now understand why flights are so miserable – they are full of self absorbed jerks. All I hear is "if you did that to me I would hurt you." Do you not see the words you wrote? Really great world where someone has to cause another person pain and say "it's my right". What exactly is wrong with you people anyway. Simply disgraceful – to bad you never learned manners.


Su N April 28, 2010 at 2:32 pm

I am also one of these people.


ps April 28, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Su N..which person are you, as in the poster that is a rude dude in a tight fix or a person that is exasperated by having a commute home becoming a flesh pressing nightmare? While the poster had an issue of space and the folks in front of this guy could have bent (literally and figuratively) a little to accomodate, I've had countless experiences with mounds of flesh acting like they're entitled to whatever space their size requires, whether it's knee space or expanding into seats b and c when you are in A. When it's due to mother nature making you statuesque is one thing, when you're the result of gluttonous behavior it's another. I feel the poster is exhibit b and some of the vitirol(outside of violence but it's easy to be macho in internet anonymity) is deserved.


ps April 28, 2010 at 4:38 pm

sorry, make that vitriol…. bad keyboard!


Cline June 7, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Its like the trolls from our horror flights stories come here just to leave seething comments. Away with you, trolls! Away!!


Sue June 15, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Why did you tell the wife not to recline when she was sitting "on the seat in front of the person next to me"

what does this have to do with you ?
close your legs jerk!

your spot is in front of you – not the person next to you !

if you are that big – go to first class and get more leg room

other must accommodate4 you because of your size ?


Beth July 12, 2013 at 11:54 am

They still have reclining seats on planes?


James July 13, 2013 at 10:32 am

Posted three years ago, so back then they still had recline.

Last month I was on a flight from SEA to PHL, in first class (*), and that seat did not recline. Ah, USAir.

(*) Cheaper than coach. It was a very short notice flight, coach was sold out and was $1700 for a one way ticket. First class was about $800, with space available. Short notice ticket prices are stupid.


iloveflying September 7, 2015 at 12:32 am

they recline on some airlines(delta for one at least the last plane i was on did.


Rachel July 13, 2013 at 1:14 pm

On the one hand–people who recline their seats beyond a few courteous inches are self-involved assholes. I've been on more than one flight where some jackass reclined his seat to the point where he can just about make eye contact with the person behind him…and then refuse to right his seat when meals are served. There is no excuse for that behavior (and saying that 'airlines make the seats like that' is just childish). It's never happened to me, but I won't lie…if ever, into a flight, someone reclined their seat right into my chest, there would be sparks.


Rachel July 13, 2013 at 1:20 pm

That, however, was not the situation. You seemed to think that, just because of your size, you have some right to dominate everyone's space. Not just the person in front of you–the whole freaking row. People do have a right to recline, you don't have a right to police it (unless they are the aforementioned 180 anglers…seriously, who's brilliant idea was it to make airplane seats like that?).

And you keep on going on about how short the flight was…it just begs the question–why could you not have just sat tight for 70 minutes? I could understand getting mad about cramped quarters for ten hours, but you had to make an issue over whether or not the people in the row in front of you are allowed to recline on a fight that isn't even two hours long?

You, sir, are entitled. If you desperately need that much space, buy first class tickets. If you went the cheap route, you don't get to dominate everyone else in the cabin.


Substantial July 15, 2013 at 3:27 am

(shrug) We all know what space is like on planes. If you want legroom then pay to sit up the front, otherwise stfu and suffer with the other plebs down the back of the plane.


iloveflying September 7, 2015 at 12:37 am

my dad does ask for exit row seating sometimes because he is 6 feet and 4 inches i did see a sentence about he did ask but i think he asked after pushing the chair(it would be interesting if the guy in front of him posted on here and from the side we could see what really happened? Very unlikely i know but just saying/


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